This is the first serious intellectual biography of Guy Debord, prime mover of the Situationist International (1957-1972) and author of The Society of the Spectacle, perhaps the seminal book of May 1968 in France. Anselm Jappe rejects recent attempts to set Debord up as a "postmodern" icon, arguing that he was a social theorist in the Hegelian-Marxist tradition--not a precursor of Jean Baudrillard but an heir of the young Georg Lukacs of History and Class Consciousness (1923). Neither hagiographical nor sectarian, Guy Debord places its subject squarely in his historical context: the politicizing Letterist and Situationist "anti-artists" who, in the European aftermath of World War II, sought to criticize and transcend the Surrealist legacy. The book offers a lively, critical, and unusually reliable account of Debord's "last avant-garde" on its way from radical bohemianism to revolutionary theory. Jappe also discusses Debord's films, which are largely inaccessible at present. This English language edition of the book has been revised by the author and features an updated critical bibliography of Debord and the Situationists.
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(229mm x 152mm x 12mm)
University of California Press
Publisher: University of California Press
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Author Biography - Anselm Jappe
Anselm Jappe was born in Bonn in 1962 and has lived in Rome since 1983. Apart from Guy Debord, which has now appeared in six languages, he has published Schade um Italien! (1997) and is a frequent contributor to theoretical journals in various countries. Donald Nicholson-Smith has previously translated Guy Debord's The Society of the Spectacle and Raoul Vaneigem's The Revolution of Everyday Life. T. J. Clark's most recent book is Farewell to an Idea: Episodes from a History of Modernism (1999).